Doctor: Remember To 'R.I.C.E.' An Injury

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NEW YORK, (UPI) — There are more cuts and bruises, ankle sprains, muscle strains and knee injuries in summer as children and adults are more active, a U.S. physician says.

Dr. William Levine, chief of sports medicine at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, recommends R.I.C.E. — Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate — a first-aid technique that can be applied to most sprains, strains and joint injuries:

— Rest: If you are injured during any activity, stop the activity immediately and rest the injured area. Do not try to work through the pain.

— Ice: For the first 24 to 48 hours apply ice packs to the injured area every two hours for 15 minutes. Make sure that the ice is not in direct contact with the skin; a cotton handkerchief covering is helpful.

— Compress: Bandage the area firmly, extending the wrapping above and below the injury. This pressure will stop any bleeding and reduce any swelling of the injured area.

— Elevate: Whenever possible, elevate the injured area above the level of your heart. Elevation and compression are typically used for acute injuries such as a twisted ankle.

“Once an injury has occurred you should always consult a physician to ensure proper rehabilitation,” Levine said in a statement. “However, prevention is always better than cure.”

Levine said to prevent sports injuries: Start slow, warm up, take breaks and listen to your body.

“Don’t ignore the little aches and pains you feel in your joints and muscles because they may help you prevent serious injuries,” Levine said.

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